The Red Sox (Kind Of) Escape

Earlier today, there was a list that was circulating on the Internet with a number of high-profile names allegedly in the George Mitchell Report on steroids, including some very big names of Red Sox past, and present. The actual Mitchell Report does not match up with that list, however, and the Sox collateral damage looks about average with other teams.

Indeed, it’s the Yankees who take the biggest hit, and no one more so than Roger Clemens, whose use of Winstrol may have helped him emerge from the “Twilight of his career” a lot more than that legendary Texas will.

There is, however, a fascinating exchange regarding the Red Sox and Eric Gagne.

According to the Mitchell Report, when the Red Sox were looking into signing Gagne in the fall of 2006, general manager Theo Epstein asked in an email, “Have you done any digging on Gagne? I know the Dodgers think he’s a steroid guy. Maybe so. What do you hear on his medical?”

A Red Sox scout named Mark Delpiano responds:

“Some digging on Gagne and steroids IS the issue. Lacks the poise and commitment to stay healthy, maintain body and re invent stuff. Mentality without the plus weapons and without steroid help probably creates a large risk in bounce back ability… Personally, durability (or lack thereof) will follow Gagne.”

The Red Sox didn’t sign him in 2006, but they went ahead and traded for him anyway in July, and we all know how that went. One might say that move was ‘curious.’

‘Inconceivable’ would be another possible adjective. Perhaps this internal exchange was added for the benefit of those who wondered about Mitchell’s credibility.

In breezing through the 400+ page pdf it doesn’t seem that Mitchell was able to plow much new ground. In fact, if former Mets clubbie Kirk Radmoski hadn’t pleaded guilty to steroid distribution in April, and agreed to name names, Mitchell’s report would have been much less damning.

There will be much more fallout in the days ahead: for the players, the owners, the union and the GM’s.